Sunday Reads: Fetuses are not people, my friend…and other irritating hypocrisies.

[Pulp magazine]: Weird Tales -- March 1934, Volume 23, Number 3.. Indianapolis, Indiana: Popular Fiction Publishing Company. 1934. Magazine. Cover by Margaret Brundage.

[Pulp magazine]: Weird Tales — March 1934, Volume 23, Number 3.. Indianapolis, Indiana: Popular Fiction Publishing Company. 1934. Magazine. Cover by Margaret Brundage.

Good Morning

Earlier this week we saw one hypocrisy after another. 

Can someone explain this to me?

How can a fetus…at seven months, a viable seven months mind you, not be a person? But…the clump of cells being aborted by a woman, who is executing her own right to choose, which is legal mind you…thanks to the Supreme Court….how can that clump of cells be a “child.”

I will tell you how, money…that is how fetuses are not people my friends!

Just take a look at some of these articles from this week alone.  Emphasis mine…

Anti-Abortion Protest Of 40th Roe V. Wade Anniversary Draws Thousands

Among the speakers at Friday’s rally was Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and staunch abortion opponent who last year unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination.

He recalled the love and support the country showed for his young daughter, Bella, who was born with a serious genetic condition and whose illness led him to take some time off from the campaign trail. He cited his daughter’s life — “she is joyful, she is sweet, she is all about love” — as a reason to discourage abortion even in instances when women are told that it would be “better” for their unborn children to have one.

“We all know that death is never better — never better. Really what it’s about is saying is it would be easier for us, not better for her,” he said. “And I’m here to tell you … Bella is better for us and we are better because of Bella.”

He said the anti-abortion cause was made up of people who every day advocate for their position outside abortion clinics and at crisis pregnancy centers.

This movement is not a bunch of moralizers standing on their mountaintop preaching what is right,” Santorum said.

One demonstrator, Mark Fedarko, 44, of Cleveland, said he regularly stands outside of abortion clinics in hopes of discouraging women from going inside.

There’s God’s law and man’s law,” he said. But I follow God’s law first. Like it says right here, thou shall not kill. That’s the end of the story. We need to protect these children.”

Ah…children. We must protect the children!

John Boehner: Ending Abortion Is ‘One Of Our Most Fundamental Goals This Year’

Addressing the crowd at the National Mall via video broadcast, Boehner said it’s time for anti-abortion activisits to “commit ourselves to doing everything we can to protect the sanctity of life.” Step one, he said, is making permanent the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape or incest.

“For the new Congress, that means bringing together a bipartisan pro-life majority and getting to work,” Boehner said. “In accordance with the will of the people, we will again work to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, formally codifying the Hyde Amendment.”

Boehner said he will make it a national priority to “help make abortion a relic of the past.”

“Let that be one of our most fundamental goals this year,” he said.

Yes….a fundamental goal…protect the sanctity of life.

But wait a moment: A Fetus Is Not a Person if it Costs us Money, Says Catholic Church

You know how the Catholic Church is always going on and on … and  on and freakin’  on … about the sanctity of life and also a bunch of vague concepts about liberty ‘n stuff? We can’t have abortion because every sperm is sacred. We can’t have insurance coverage for women’s health care because  something about Taco Bell and freedom. We can’t even  fund cancer screening because apparently Jesus was cool with women dying of undetected breast cancer.

And all of this—all of it—goes back to the Church’s insistence that life begins with your very first hell-worthy dirty thought and must be protected at all costs, despite all consequences, including, of course, the consequence of dead women, whose lives are not nearly as valuable as the “life” of an unborn fetus. In just the past year, the Church has called upon its faithful followers to march, to starve themselves, to go to jail, to even take up arms—all to protect those fetuses. No exceptions. None. Not if the fetus is already dead inside the womb. Not if the fetus is going to kill the actual living woman carrying it. No goddamned exceptions EVER.

Well, except for one: when it’s going to cost the Church money.

Turns out, when a man sues a Catholic hospital for malpractice because his wife and the twins she was carrying inside her died when she turned up in the emergency room and her doctor never bothered to answer a page—well, things get a little tricky. Yes, the Catholic hospital adheres to the strict Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church, as set forth by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. And yes, those directives include the claim that “[t]he Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn” and a mandate to uphold “the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death.'” But come  on. That obviously does not apply when Catholic Health Initiatives, the Church-affiliated organization that runs the Church-affiliated St. Thomas More Hospital where a young woman and her two unborn fetuses died, is the lead defendant in a lawsuit.

What? I just read a bunch of news articles that says we must save the sanctity of life, these unborn children, from being aborted, and now the church argues a wrongful death court case because fetuses aren’t people?

In malpractice case, Catholic hospital argues fetuses aren’t people

Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.

As Jason Langley, an attorney with Denver-based Kennedy Childs, argued in one of the briefs he filed for the defense, the court “should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”

And get this, the Catholic hospital won the argument.  Catholic hospital chain beats malpractice suit by saying fetuses aren’t people

Catholic Health Initiatives is a non-profit conglomerate organization that owns roughly 170 health care facilities in 17 states, with national assets totaling around $15 billion.

Catholic hospitals purportedly base their ethical practices on the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church, which were authored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. These guidelines state that, “Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death. The Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn.”

Catholic Health Initiatives’ promotional literature states that its mission is to “nurture the healing ministry of the Church” and be guided by “fidelity to the Gospel.” The chain’s refusal to dispense contraceptives, perform abortions or to offer end-of-life services has placed it at odds in business deals attempting to acquire secularly governed hospitals in the past.

Practicing what that “good book” tells ya to is one hell of a money maker, eh? Fucking assholes!  The hypocrisy of this story against the backdrop of the anti-abortion protesters in DC makes me want to drop kick a priest, bishop, nun or a frothy….orange politician!

Hey, but in New Mexico…fetuses aren’t people either…they are considered evidence. New Mexico Bill Would Send Rape Victims to Jail for Aborting ‘Evidence’

If you thought the so-called “rape caucus” was fading away, there’s new evidence — and we mean evidence — that some Republicans are still going to make a lot of people upset with what they see as legitimate concerns about rape. New Mexico State Rep. Cathrynn Brown has now introduced a bill that, if she has her way, ultimately could see rape victims charged with felony and three years in prison if they fail to carry their pregnancies to term.

Brown’s argument is that fetuses are evidence of sexual assault, and “tampering with evidence” is a third-degree felony. Here’s a key part of the actual bill, in case this stuff still seems unbelievable to you.

This story was updated by the way…

It appears that Brown has figured out that no one really liked her bill and that her bill, as it was stated, was rather unclear. The state representative apparently is submitting a substitute bill, the New Mexico Telegram reports. Brown said:

House Bill 206 was never intended to punish or criminalize rape victims … Its intent is solely to deter rape and cases of incest. The rapist—not the victim—would be charged with tampering of evidence. I am submitting a substitute draft to make the intent of the legislation abundantly clear.

So, what (we think) Brown, a pro-life Republican, means is that she’s trying to punish rapists who try and cover their tracks by getting their victims to have abortions. Which is a lot different than the bill she first introduced, which stated that any person “procuring” an abortion should be punished for “tampering.”

It still is a fucked up way to handle something like rape…I mean, if a woman is raped and gets an abortion…is tampering with evidence just another charge filed against the rapist? Yeah…like it is so damn easy to bring a rapist to prosecution.

Like proposed laws throughout the country, these legislators are taking things too far…remember the one in Georgia that made miscarriages a crime? Just because Obama won, and all those idiots who made ridiculous statements about rape lost their bid to go to Washington, doesn’t mean we have heard the last of the war drums from the christian right’s fight against women.

I know that you have heard me say this before, but one area where we could get some folks who will give women a fighting chance against these PLUB dumb asses, is to put more left-minded judges to work in the federal courts.  For example, take the recent decision that came down this week too, Court rules Obama recess appointments unconstitutional

A federal appeals court, dealing a defeat to President Obama, has sharply limited the chief executive’s power to bypass the Senate and to make temporary “recess” appointments to fill vacant slots in government agencies.

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a 3-0 ruling,  said the president can make recess appointments only when the Senate has formally adjourned between sessions of Congress, not when lawmakers leave Washington for a brief break.

The White House is expected to appeal to the Supreme Court, but look at this…from Susie Madrak: Judge Who Ruled Against Recess Appointments Is A Wingnut

Just thought I’d point out the long-time wingnuttery and judicial activism of D.C. District Judge David Sentelle, the Reagan-appointee circuit judge and Jesse Helms protegee — the man who appointed Kenneth Starr — who just invalidated Obama’s NLRB appointments, thus kicking off a whole potential mess o’legal chaos!

The D.C. district is second only to the Supreme Court in its importance, and of course it has three (soon to be four) vacancies, which Republicans refuse to allow Obama to fill.

Susie points to this post from Daily Kos back in 2010:

This Daily Kos post from 2010 sums it up pretty well:

Sentelle.jpg

Back to Sentelle, the lead judge of this circuit court, and a reminder that this is someone who, when he gets a chance, puts his right wing, authoritarian political beliefs over and above the principle of justice. Is it any wonder that the reason he became a judge is that he was appointed by Ronald Reagan, a man who also whenever he got a chance, also put his own right wing, authoritarian political beliefs over and above the principle of justice.

This is, for example, the same partisan hack who voted to overturn the convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter, for their Iran Contra crimes.

This is, for example, the same partisan hack who appointed his fellow partisan hack Kenneth Starr for his witchhunt of the Clintons.

This is, for example, the same partisan hack who enthusiastically supported the “Military Commissions Act” and its destruction of habeas corpus for enemy combatants; if you are David Sentelle and the government accuses you of a crime, you are guilty until you can prove innocence, rather than the other way around, and the government can throw up all sorts of roadblocks to prove your innocence. Unless, of course, you are someone like Ollie North. Then, of course, your innocence is fully presumed.

The man has no business wearing a judge’s robe, and is a disgrace to our supposed rule of law.

Emphasis Susie’s…

Another opinion on this decision from the LG&M’s blog: Neoconfederate Judges Rule NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional – Lawyers, Guns & Money

Oh, great. The opinion is an atrocity, classic “hack originalism for dummies,” relying heavily on the fact that recess appointments during nominal sessions of the Senate are a relatively recent phenomenon (although there’s precedent going back to 1867, and “[t]he last five Presidents have all made appointments during intrasession recesses of fourteen days or fewer”), without considering that the Senate systematically refusing to consider presidential nominees is also a contemporary phenomenon.

Read the rest of that post at the link.

Obama needs to put his “stamp” on those federal district court justices.

Here is one article that I saved away when I read it originally earlier this month, from Charlie Savage: Obama Lags on Filling Seats in the Judiciary

President Obama is set to end his term with dozens fewer lower-court appointments than both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush achieved in their first four years, and probably with less of a lasting ideological imprint on the judiciary than many liberals had hoped for and conservatives had feared.

Multimedia

Mr. Obama’s record stems in part from a decision at the start of his presidency to make judicial nominations a lower political priority, according to documents and interviews with more than a dozen current and former administration officials and with court watchers from across the political spectrum. Senate Republicans also played a role, ratcheting up partisan warfare over judges that has been escalating for the past generation by delaying even uncontroversial picks who would have been quickly approved in the past.

But a good portion of Mr. Obama’s judicial record stems from a deliberate strategy. While Mr. Bush quickly nominated a slate of appeals court judges early in his first year — including several outspoken conservatives — Mr. Obama moved more slowly and sought relatively moderate jurists who he hoped would not provoke culture wars that distracted attention from his ambitious legislative agenda.

“The White House in that first year did not want to nominate candidates who would generate rancorous disputes over social issues that would further polarize the Senate,” said Gregory B. Craig, Mr. Obama’s first White House counsel. “We were looking for mainstream, noncontroversial candidates to nominate.”

Noncontroversial? Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Like everything else we hear out of Obama’s mouth….but that is another topic for another post.

You can read another article on Obama’s weak-ass attention to the Judicial appointments from Robert Kuttner, published last year: The Courts: How Obama Dropped the Ball

In his novel King of the Jews, Leslie Epstein sets his story in the wartime ghetto of Lodz, Poland, where the Gestapo ruled through an appointed council of Jewish elders. Epstein, researching the book, tracked down the gallows humor of the time. In one such joke, told by a character in the novel, two Jews are facing a firing squad. The commandant asks if they would like blindfolds.  One of the condemned whispers to the other, “Don’t make trouble.”

“Don’t make trouble” could have been the credo of the first year of the Obama Administration. The White House calculated that if the president just extended the hand of conciliation to the Republicans, the opposition would reciprocate and together they would change the tone in Washington. This was the policy on everything from the stimulus to health reform to judicial nominations. It didn’t work out so well.

Now, spurred by the tailwind of a re-election victory and the realization that public opinion is on his side, President Obama has displayed a new toughness in his budget battle. He has declared that he won’t negotiate against himself, and the strategy is working. But the White House is still stuck in don’t-make-trouble mode on the crucial issue of judicial appointments, where the pace of nominations is only now catching up with that of Obama’s predecessors and the strategy for avoiding partisan confrontation gives Republicans something close to a veto over who is nominated.

I will leave you to read those two articles in full…and now, I give you the rest of the day’s reads in link dump fashion.

Hey Kat, Jindal is not the only one fucking things up: Sam Brownback’s Kansas is a Resort Town for “Makers”

Much like Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, Governor Sam Brownback is busy turning Kansas into a right-wing paradise, with low wages, few public services, and reactionary social policy. Since 2010, when conservative Republicans—including Brownback—took full control of the state, Kansas has passed strict new anti-abortion laws as well as large cuts to education and mental health care services. And last year, Brownback signed a bill that cuts state income taxes by roughly $3.7 billion over five years, and collapses the state’s current three-bracket tax system into two brackets: 4.9 percent and 3 percent.

That tax cut took effect this month, and as the New York Timesreports, it’s the largest reduction in Kansas history. It’s also only the beginning; this week, Kansas Republicans introduced a bill that would pare taxes further, and eventually eliminate the state’s individual income tax.

As with Jindal’s proposal in Louisiana, this would deprive the state of needed revenue; existing tax cuts are already expected cost nearly $850 million in the coming year. Additional cuts will balloon those costs, and force further reductions to state services.

Now an update from Newtown, Sandy Hook probe to extend until summer, prosecutor says … WTF? I really would love to know if I am the only one who finds it strange that we still know less about Adam Lanza then we do about all those other mass shooters since Sandy Hook.

Stephen King has an essay available on Kindle: Guns (Kindle Single): Stephen King: Amazon.com: Kindle Store

In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King’s keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done.

King’s earnings from the sale of this essay will go the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Check it out! It is only $0.99.

Here is an article from a couple of weeks ago: LIZ JONES FASHION THERAPY: As plus-size sales soar, our columnist meets the models making a big impact on the high street.  Nice to see real sized women models getting noticed.

In Romania, Stray Dogs Are Better at Crossing the Street Than People.

Traffic police in Romania are fed up with pedestrians’ blatant disregard for designated crosswalks, opting to instead dash across busy streets at their own, oftentimes fatal, detriment. In an effort to raise awareness of this sheer idiocy, traffic police have released a series of TV ads highlighting the citizens that understand the function of those big white lines painted on the pavement are for: Stray dogs.

Semida Duriga, the director of Romania’s Next Advertising agency, created and launched the ads upon learning the unsettling statistics regarding the number of careless pedestrians killed or grievously injured when hit by oncoming motor vehicles. According to the chief of Romania’s traffic police, Lucian Dinita, roughly 360 of these collisions were fatal while another 1,200 required intense medical attention.

Unlike humans and their all-encompassing drive to reach the taco truck across the street regardless of the consequences, Romania’s stray dog population heeds the importance of traversing crosswalks and understands that the green light applies to cars and not living organisms. This uncanny level of canine adroitness is what inspired Duriga to film these dogs from various Romanian cities in action for the ads.

I am not sure if that is a compliment to the dogs or not?

Okay, here is a link to a scientific study, this one is about Socially isolated rats are more vulnerable to addiction, report researchers.

And another article on findings from a recent study, this one dealing with Household chores: Gender equality’s final frontier.

Let’s finish up with a link to an article about 3-D printers. Seriously, I thought this was a load of shit, but it isn’t…it is for real! Dutch architect to build house with 3D printer

A handout computer generated image shows a house designed by Dutch architecture practice Universe Architecture on Jan. 14, 2013. Photo via AFP.

A Dutch architect has designed a house “with no beginning or end” to be built using the world’s largest 3D printer, harnessing technology that may one day be used to print houses on the moon.

Can you believe it?

Well, this is a real long post…hope to see you all in the comments. Have a great day and share your thoughts with us!


We Need to Reboot the Two Party System

When in the course of human events, a political system becomes so corrupt and so obviously subservient to theocrats, corporatecrats, and plutocrats, the people living under the system need to “dissolve” some political bands.  I suggest we spend our time this election cycle pulling the plug on the band of Ugly Teahadis. This election we need to ensure that the self-destruction of the Republican party becomes complete and then, we need to turn our jaundiced eyes towards the Democratic Party.  The stated purpose of our government is to ensure the ability for all of us to pursue life, liberty and justice.  We cannot do so when narrow and extreme religious views completely rule one party and the combined money of the extremely wealthy and corporate entities control both.

Here’s just a few things today that demonstrate the need to send the Republican Party into the History books with the Whigs.

They talk jobs, but then they vote like the rest of us don’t need no stinking jobs: “Republican objections to spending in veterans jobs bill blocks election-year legislation”.  They are eager to throw every one that works for the betterment of our society on the streets and to the wolves of Wall Street. They hate veterans, firefighters, and teachers but worship orgy-throwing public money-using gamblers like Marc Lede.

The Senate blocked legislation Wednesday that would have established a $1 billion jobs program putting veterans back to work tending to the country’s federal lands and bolstering local police and fire departments.

Republicans said the spending authorized in the bill violated limits that Congress agreed to last year. Democrats fell two votes shy of the 60-vote majority needed to waive the objection, forcing the legislation back to committee.

Supporters loosely modeled their proposal after the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps used during the Great Depression to put people to work planting trees, building parks and constructing dams. They said the latest monthly jobs report, showing a nearly 11 percent unemployment rate for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, merited action from Congress.

Who are the real parasites on the society and our country?  Is it teachers,veterans and firefighters or the people that gambled our economy, our home values, and our jobs into a Great Recession and then begged to be bailed out so they could pay themselves exorbitant bonuses and lobby for lower taxes on their gambling earnings?  I’m a teacher.  My marginal federal tax rate is higher than Mittens and I’m the parasite? All of my income is subject to social security taxes  and I’m the parasite?  My savings is in this country in both investments and banks and I’m the parasite? The people I teach work right here in the US. I help them get jobs. I don’t fire them or send their jobs to China.  AND I’M the parasite?

Republicans no longer seem to care about the truth.  They only care about their ideology, their base, and their power agenda. Try this one on for size: Fast And Furious Report: No Evidence DOJ Leadership Knew Of Gunwalking Tactics. Remember all that time and money they spent impeaching Eric Holder?

There is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder and high-ranking officials at the Justice Department knew that guns were allowed to “walk” during an ATF operation known as Fast and Furious, according to a report released on Wednesday afternoon by the department’s internal watchdog.

Following a 19-month investigation, the Inspector General found that the decision not to take action against low-level “straw purchasers” was made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office. Their decision, according to the report, “was primarily the result of tactical and strategic decisions by the agents and prosecutors, rather than because of any legal limitation on their ability to do so.” Dennis Burke, the head of the U.S. Attorney’s office at the time, resigned from his position in August 2011.

The IG report is considered to be the most comprehensive and least partisan account of the scandal available to date. Unlike investigators with Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee, DOJ investigators had access to criminal investigation files.

Republicans will elect complete loons to our legislative bodies and executive branches who then appoint complete loons to the courts.  Here’s a great example of yet another Republican loon: “GOP Congressional Candidate Says Mideast Turmoil Is Because Of ‘Girly Men’ In The White House”. How many Michelle Bachmanns, Allen Wests, and assorted reality, truth, and modernity deniers do we need before nothing we have left in this country is even functional any more? These are people with a different approach to governing. These people have an insane approach to everything!

A Republican congressional nominee laid the blame for turmoil in the Middle East on “girly men” in the White House.

North Carolina State Sen. David Rouzer (R), the GOP nominee in the state’s 7th congressional district, levied the charge during a speech at a Tea Party Express rally in Wilmington on Sunday. If Romney is elected, Rouzer said, those perpetrating recent violence in the Middle East are going to “cut it out a little bit […] because now we have real men in the White House.” An audience member shouted “No girly men!” prompting Rouzer’s approval: “That’s right, no girly men.”

ROUZER: When we get [Romney and Ryan] in you are going to see a big change, you’re going to see number one that America is going to be respected again around the world. You’re going to see all this turmoil that’s taking place, you’re going to see them look up and say guess what, the American people have spoken and maybe we need to cut it out a little bit, maybe we need to tone it down a little bit, because now we have real men in the White House.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: No girly men!

ROUZER: That’s right, no girly men.

Do we really need a repeat of the Iraq war?  Is this how we want our money spent?  Do you really want to see your social security and medicare used to chase another Neocon wet dream? Do you want your children to be sent to die because of a bunch of chickenhawk war mongers?

While they are focusing on getting more of us killed in Iran, have you read this? Obama official: Benghazi was a terrorist attack

The Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was in fact “a terrorist attack” and the U.S. government has indications that members of al Qaeda were directly involved, a top Obama administration official said Wednesday morning.

“I would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,” Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, in response to questioning from Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) about the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

As for who was responsible, Olsen said it appears there were attackers from a number of different militant groups that operate in and around Benghazi, and said there are already signs of al Qaeda involvement.

“We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda’s affiliates; in particular, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” he said.

The U.S. government just isn’t sure yet whether the terrorist attack was pre-planned or whether it was an example of terrorists taking advantage of protests against an anti-Islam film, Olsen said.

So, we’re supposed to think that Russian and Iran are the problem right?  Remember what happened the last time a Republican administration ignored the real threats and went after its boogeymen instead?

Here’s another example for you from Rick Perry: Rick Perry Tells ‘Christian Warriors’ Separation Of Church And State Is Of ‘Satan’.

Rick Perry yesterday urged “Christian warriors” to fight President Obama and the concept of separation of church and state, which, he claimed, is of “Satan.” Perry, who kicked off his quickly failed, embarrassing campaign for president with a million-dollar prayer rally for Christians, also suggested anti-choice activists should “elect women” to pass anti-abortion legislation, and, shockingly, seemed to blame President Obama for the deaths last week of four U.S. foreign service officers, who were killed in Libya after an anti-Muslim film was publicized by Pastor Terry Jones.

“President Obama and his cronies in Washington continue their efforts to remove any trace of religion from American life,” Perry claimed, falsely. He added that the “American family is under seize [sic], traditional values are somehow exclusionary,” and, blamed (of course) “activist courts,” saying:

“It falls on us, we truly are Christian warriors, Christian soldiers, and for us as Americans to stand our ground and to firmly send a message to Washington that our nation is about more than just some secular laws.”

We can not have a functioning government as long as both parties are corrupted by money and one has a base that is just plain bat shit insane.  If there is absolutely anything you can do to shut down republicans in your area from being elected to ANY office, then please do so.  For the sake of children, women, the GLBT community, public servants, the planet, your ability to retire without a grocery cart, veterans, soldiers who have been deployed enough, and the country’s roads, schools, bridges, scientific research, and basic regulation of our food, health, and natural resources … DON”T let any of them get elected! Once the Republican party goes into complete collapse there’s a possibility of several challengers coming out of the ashes that might just be responsive to people. Then, something viable can compete with the Democratic Party and begin to keep it in check.  This election needs to be about making sure the Republican Party Death Spiral is complete. My biggest hope is those pesky religious fanatics go off on their own. But that is only one hope that I have.  Pick a Republican you hate and end their political career!   Please!

Side Note:  Hello to all our new readers!!  We can tell you are out there because the number of unique hits on our blog has more than doubled this last month or so.  So, please comment and become part of our community!  Hello to all of you from places like Democratic Underground, HuffPo, Kos, Sulia, Reddit and other blogs!  We are really pleased you’re reading us!


Wednesday Reads: Of the Little Poodle and the Honky Cat

From Designer Will Bradley, click image for link.

Good morning!

It is so nice to be back, albeit in limited capacity, I will be writing my Wednesday and Sunday morning post…eventually, in a week or so, I will also be posting the daily evening reads.  Getting back into the swing of things is a bit daunting, it has been a week since my surgery and there is still more healing to be done.

I don’t know about you, but there are a few books that I always read over and over again. Gone With The Wind, is one…ever since I first read the entire book when I was in third grade. Another is A Confederacy of Dunces, which is where I get my blog handle, Minkoff Minx, from…I love that damn book.

So as I have been recovering from surgery, I have read a lot. I’ve started a book The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma, written by Thant Myint-U, which is actually quite an interesting read. I also have worked through a few Letters from Burma, written by Aung San Suu Kyi. But when the Lortab 10 starts to kick in, and I am just too out of it to actually digest what I am reading, I have turned once again to the magnificent Ignatius J. Reilly.

John Kennedy Toole was such an amazing writer. I wanted to share a bit with you. The following quotes from the book actually say a lot about why I chose the name Minkoff Minx, check it out…from a page out of Ignatius’ “Journal of a Working Boy” where he describes Myrna Minkoff…the Minkoff Minx:

(Myrna was decidedly masochistic. She was only happy when a police dog was sinking its fangs into her black leotards or when she was being dragged feet first down stone steps from a Senate hearing.)
[…]
Myrna is very sincere; unfortunately, she is also offensive.
[…]
At the moment that little musky Minkoff minx is probably in some tunnel far beneath the streets of the Bronx speeding in a subway train from a meeting on social protest to an orgy of folksinging or worse. Someday the authorities of our society will no doubt apprehend her for simply being herself. Incarceration will finally make her life meaningful and end her frustration.

Gotta love it!

You may be asking yourself why I am even mentioning this…well I have decided to step away from the anonymity of my alias, Minkoff Minx, and embrace writing under my maiden name, JJ Lopez.  It is something I have thought about for a while now…I have a lot of opinions, and it is about time I own them.

So, just like Myrna, I am very sincere, however…there are times I will be offensive to some…my response is this: I am just being who I am, and I have to express how I feel. Simple as that.

Alrighty then…let’s get to the morning headlines!

Big news in the GOP race, Frothy Dick aka Rick Santorum pulls out…finally!

(Okay, I know…it is a cheesy remark, but damn…we are losing our punchline “Santorum” Dick of the GOP…so might as well end it with a frothy comment. Okay, now get me that “santorum” towel and we’ll just clean this up…)

Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign -

Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday, bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney’s nomination and ending his improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party’s conservative standard-bearer in the fall.

“We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,” Mr. Santorum said.

In other big news, George Zimmerman is no longer receiving “legal advice” from his lawyers…yup, Georgie Boy’s attorneys have withdrawn from counsel:

Exclusive: Trayvon Martin’s Family’s Attorney Responds as Zimmerman’s Lawyers Withdraw Counsel

Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig, the lawyers who have been speaking for and providing legal representation for George Zimmerman withdrew as his counsel Tuesday after citing poor communication with him and other factors in their decision. “We are withdrawing as counsel for Mr. Zimmerman,” said Sonner. “We have lost contact with him.”

They do not know where he is, but they know he is no longer in the State of Florida.

Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman press conference: Trayvon Martin: Attorneys say Zimmerman contacted prosecutor, Sean Hannity

The lawyers had been publicly representing Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, in the media as calls for his arrest continue to grow.

But they said Tuesday that Zimmerman — who, they say, has left the state — has stopped answering their phone calls, and has made a series of decisions that the two lawyers would not have advised.

The lawyers said Zimmerman called Sean Hannity of Fox News without consulting them. He also called the special prosecutor in the case, something the attorneys said they’d never have told him to do.

“We were a bit astonished,” Uhrig said. He praised Special Prosecutor Angela Corey’s office for declining to speak with Zimmerman without legal counsel.

Asked about Hannity’s interactions with Zimmerman, a Fox News Channel spokeswoman said the issue “will be addressed on Hannity’s show tonight.” The show, “Hannity,” airs at 9 p.m.

Here is the Hannity video from last night…Sean Hannity Confirms He Spoke To George Zimmerman, Agreed Not To Report On Conversation | Mediaite

Boston Boomer thinks it is all over for George now that he has had this contact with Hannity. I hope so, I mean, you would think that website of his was enough to put the shooting into perspective…as far as whether Zimmerman’s killing of Martin was a hate crime. As Karoli writes at C&L:

Most defense attorneys tell their clients to be quiet and let them do the talking. But George Zimmerman’s lawyers are an odd lot, and don’t seem to really be managing the public relations aspect of their client’s legal affairs very well.

After weeks of silence and weird surrogates appearing on his behalf, George Zimmerman has made himself a website asking for donations. He has done this because he’s upset about other people collecting donations in his name.

I am the real George Zimmerman,
On Sunday February 26th, I was involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage. As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life. This website’s sole purpose is to ensure my supporters they are receiving my full attention without any intermediaries.

It has come to my attention that some persons and/or entities have been collecting funds, thinly veiled as my “Defense Fund” or “Legal Fund”. I cannot attest to the validity of these other websites as I have not received any funds collected, intended to support my family and I through this trying, tragic time.
I have created a Paypal account solely linked on this website as I would like to provide an avenue to thank my supporters personally and ensure that any funds provided are used only for living expenses and legal defense, in lieu of my forced inability to maintain employment. I will also personally, maintain accountability of all funds received. I reassure you, every donation is appreciated.
Sincerely,
George Zimmerman

I love this tag line at the bottom of the page, don’t you? Also the big American flag sends a message. Of sorts.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing. – Edmund Burke.

It seems ill-advised to me to put up a website that looks like a patriot or militia site with a quote they’re fond of asking for donations, one day after Fox News reports that white supremacists are now ‘patrolling’ Sanford, to say nothing of the bad taste it displays. But there it is, waiting for the donations to pour in.

You can read what she thinks of the family’s “letter to Holder” at the link.

Speaking of all this Zimmerman news, you know that law that he is hiding behind, “Stand your ground” which, btw, was supported into legislation by the group ALEC.

It appears that McDonald’s has flipped or flopped on their participation with ALEC…Exclusive: McDonald’s Says It Has Dumped ALEC | Mother Jones

McDonald’s sought to clarify its relationship with ALEC after a coalition of progressive groups with members in all 50 states, including Common Cause and Color of Change, announced plans on Tuesday to target McDonald’s for its ongoing membership in ALEC. Rashad Robinson, Color of Change’s executive director, said groups in the coalition were “flooding” McDonald’s, Johnson and Johnson, and State Farm with phone calls demanding they stop backing ALEC. “Major corporations like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Kraft understand that supporting voter suppression efforts and dangerous ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation puts their brands at great risk in the black community,” Robinson said. “We hope that McDonald’s, Johnson and Johnson, and State Farm also get that message. Today, our members are flooding these companies with phone calls to demand that they stop supporting ALEC.”

“Clearly, some of these companies—Coke, Pepsi, McDonald’s—realize that it doesn’t make good business sense to be part of ALEC when ALEC has come under increased scrutiny,” said Mary Boyle, Common Cause’s vice president of communications, when told of the company’s departure from the group.

The news of McDonald’s leaving ALEC comes amidst several other high-profile departures by big-name corporations. Last week, Coca-Cola said it had decided to leave ALEC after taking heat from Color of Change and other progressive groups. Soon after, Kraft, Pepsi, and Intuit (which makes Quicken personal finance software) followed suit by ending their memberships with ALEC.

However as an update to the story states:

UPDATE: The Huffington Post reports that, in a Feburary 29 letter to Color of Change, a McDonald’s official said the company remained a member of ALEC. The letter, which raises questions about McDonald’s claim to have left ALEC, appears to be written by Pat Harris, whose title is global chief diversity officer. We’ve updated the headline of our story to make it clear that it was a McDonald’s spokeswoman who says the company has left ALEC.

After reading about all these companies and corporations that sponsor ALEC, it makes me think who isn’t a member of this “organization.”

Here is something you may have missed:Chinese politician Bo Xilai’s wife suspected of murdering Neil Heywood

The wife of high-flying Chinese politician Bo Xilai is suspected of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood, state media has reported, the latest twist in the biggest scandal to rock China‘s political class for decades.

Bo was suspended on Tuesday from powerful positions within the ruling party. His wife, the lawyer Gu Kailai, is being held in custody in connection with Heywood’s death, as is Zhang Xiaojun, who worked at the family’s home, the official news agency Xinhua reported.

Give that a read, here is a little summary of the characters at the bottom of the article.

Bo Xilai

The flamboyance and obvious ambition of the 62-year-old made him a divisive figure: admirers lauded him as a bold politician who could get things done, while detractors condemned his ruthlessness. Bo has accused critics of “pouring filth” over his family.

Gu Kailai

Bo’s second wife, now 51. The daughter of a Communist general, she became a high-profile lawyer known for an early success in helping Chinese firms win a court battle in the US.

Wang Lijun

Bo picked the 52-year-old police chief to lead the anti-gang campaign in Chongqing. Wang – renowned as a triad-busting supercop – became vice-mayor and was said to be a family friend. But strains between the men surfaced when he was reshuffled; days later, he fled to the US consulate.

Neil Heywood

The 41-year-old British businessman was a board member for an Aston Martin dealership in Beijing and a consultant for Hakluyt, the business intelligence firm. He told friends he got to know Bo’s family when both were based in the northern city of Dalian.

I’ve got a few more links for you…and since I am getting tired, these will be quick!

How Nebraska’s 20-Week Abortion Ban Became One Family’s Nightmare and Why We Need to Ban The Bans

Arizona House Passes 20-Week Gestational Abortion Ban

Ugh…is all I can say about that.

Up next, this political cartoon is on the mark:  Cagle Post » President Strangelove

Almost makes you want to see the film Dr. Strangelove doesn’t it?

Many of you may have heard about the Hillary Text site? This is funny: Hillary Clinton Thanks ‘Texts From Hillary’ Guys For The ‘LOLZ’

On Thursday, Hillary Clinton took a few minutes away from her texting (and all her other duties as secretary of state) and met with the two guys who have turned her into the latest Internet meme.

In less than a week, the blog “Texts from Hillary” has become an online sensation, boosting Clinton’s public image in the process. As Benjy Sarlin of TPM wrote, “When she was running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton was parodied as drab and calculated, especially compared with young and vigorous Barack Obama and winking and fresh-faced Sarah Palin. Now, she’s fueling Internet jokes based on her own brand of badass cool.”

Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith, the two guys behind the site, said they received an email from a member of Clinton’s staff on Monday afternoon, out of the blue.

“We didn’t even believe it at first,” said Smith. “Stacy and I IMed each other at the same time, basically saying, ‘Oh my god, this email!'”

The staffer invited them over to the State Department, saying the secretary loved the site and wanted to meet them. Her staff also submitted Clinton’s own idea for a post to the site, which went up on Tuesday. In it, Clinton calls out Smith and Lambe for their creation (and makes a scrunchie joke).

Smith said that the submission was from the Clinton herself — although she may have had some help on it — and that they talked about it with her at the meeting. She told them that her favorite post was the one with Ryan Gosling.

Here is more…

In fact, Clinton suggested that the three of them pose in the photos with their blackberries, checking their text messages. She even whipped out her famous sunglasses.

“I would just say that her meeting with us proves the point that we were trying to make with the site,” said Smith.

Clinton also gave each of them signed copies of her “Texts from Hillary” submission.

Smith’s signed copy, on which Clinton signed her name “Hillz”:

I had to share this light-hearted story about Hillary, isn’t it great! Hillary is fantastic…

Before I end this post, I just wanted to say a few words about my little poodle, Pippin. (No not named for the Lord of the Rings character, he was actually named after the Pepin the Short, the first King of the Franks.) He died in his sleep early Easter morning. It was not a shock…he had been sick for some time…I sure do miss him. So here are a couple of tunes to my Pip…they don’t really have any significance. I just was listening to them the night before he died, so now they will always be associated with that little rag-a-muffin.

First song is You Take Me Up, from the Thompson Twins, a band I loved back in highschool…yes, cry in my sleep…that is what I’ve been doing.
And then Honky Cat, by Elton John…
Pippin was not fond of the outdoors, he would have been happy staying inside all the time, following me around the house…did I say that I miss him?
Whoa, what a week…so what sort of things are you reading about today, please share your links and hopefully I will catch y’all later in the comments below!

Pippin, from a couple years ago, could not find another picture of him...


Wednesday Reads: V-Jay D-Day? Nope, Texas’ Vaginas Get Six Week Reprieve

Child's book about rain...see the little rain drops in the clouds? I just had to put up a happy picture.

Good Morning

We had a live blog going last night:

Evening at the Circus: Deep South and Fancy Free! « Sky Dancing

You can catch up with the Clown Show at that link.  If you are not in the mood for a bit of humor, redneck style, then by all means…

NBC Politics – Santorum wins Mississippi and Alabama primaries

Republican Santorum scores crucial Deep South wins | Reuters

Santorum Wins Alabama and Mississippi Primaries – NYTimes.com

Romney wins Hawaii GOP presidential caucuses

Romney wins caucuses in Hawaii, American Samoa – The Washington Post

Born-again Christians dominate GOP vote in AL, MS – Yahoo! News

Alabama and Mississippi Deal Blow to Gingrich – NYTimes.com

Boy, I tell yew what…that thar Sanitorum shore is a Dick….God Bless Him. (Read the post last night to get the joke.)

Since we write the morning reads the night before, I have no idea about the results of the Hawaiian or American Samoan primaries, I will update the post with those numbers in the comments.

Let’s move on with updates on the GOP’s War on Women. Today was the day that Texas Planned Parenthood would be closing their doors due to an asshole’s  Governor’s decision to defund the program because..you know…it helps women take care of themselves. Planned Parenthood Prepares To Turn-Away State-Funded Patients

Planned Parenthood clinics across the state have a little more time before the must turn-away patients in the state’s Women’s Health Program. KERA’s BJ Austin says funding was to be cut Wednesday, but new regulations issued over the weekend allow patients to be seen through April 30th.

According to the article, Planned Parenthood provides basic healthcare, contraception and mammograms for 40% of all women in Texas.

At Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Kelly Hart says even with the extra time this situation is distressing for thousands of Women’s Health Care Program patients.

Hart: I’m hearing more and more stories from our health center managers and the nurses about these patients which just don’t have any idea what they’re going to do.  And it is heartbreaking.

A law professor at University of Georgia wrote an op/ed about all this women stuff.  Eric Segall: The Hypocrisy of the Abortion Debate: Why Conservatives Should Vote Pro-Choice and Leave Planned Parenthood Alone

Over the last two months, Republican politicians in Congress and across the nation have launched a complete assault on women’s health generally and a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion specifically. Last Thursday (on International Women’s day no less), Congress debated a completely unnecessary (and potentially harmful) law making it a federal crime for anyone but a parent to accompany a young woman across state lines to seek an abortion, even where the parents are absent or abusive. All over the country, states are enacting anti-abortion laws at record levels designed to deter women from exercising their constitutional right to choose.

As part of this overall effort to prevent women from having abortions, Republicans are also attacking Planned Parenthood on almost a daily basis. Texas recently decided to forego significant federal money to be used to provide health care (not abortions) to poor women solely because of Texas’ desire to strip Planned Parenthood of all financial support within the state. The United States government was almost shut down recently because of Republican hostility to the work of Planned Parenthood (most of which, of course, has nothing to do with abortion). Virtually all of these attacks on the right to choose have been brought by members of the Republican Party who would self-identify themselves as conservatives.

There are many public policy arguments supporting the right of women to control their own reproductive destinies. This essay, however, is only concerned with the one argument that should in a sane world appeal to the very people who are trying so hard to interfere with that right.

(Raises hand.) I have a question, if you are dealing with these fetus fanatics who want to send women back to the days of chastity belts, how can you even begin to expect to have a “sane” argument.

The four men currently running for the republican nomination for president stress individual freedom and governmental non-interference with important decisions as the most important American values. Because they cannot argue with the fact that approximately half our society feels the right to terminate a pregnancy is such an important freedom, on what basis do they support the government’s right to take that liberty away or make it much more difficult to exercise?

The answer, of course, is that these four candidates and other anti-abortion advocates would argue that fetuses are innocent victims who cannot take care of themselves and thus need governmental protection from would-be killers. But, as previously noted, there is significant disagreement in our culture on this question. In totalitarian states, government officials could simply say we know better and we get to choose. In America, however, especially in the eyes of conservatives and libertarians, it is not the government’s job to resolve through coercion and duress issues of freedom that so many in our population view as fundamentally important to living the good life. The argument “we know better,” when there is such disagreement, simply should not be available to people who consistently voice skepticism of intrusive government.

Anti-choice politicians and pundits can scream as loudly, intensely, and as often as they like that abortion is murder but that does not make it so. Many Americans believe the right to abortion is just as important as the right to free speech, the right to practice religion, and the right to vote. In light of that undeniable reality, those in favor of private decision-making and personal freedom should vote pro-choice every time (and not use governmental force to punish an organization so vital to women’s health just because it provides some abortion services). That conservative politicians and pundits often argue and vote otherwise demonstrates the great hypocrisy of the abortion debate and strongly suggests that anti-choice republicans and conservatives only believe in small government and personal liberty when it is their personal, subjective, and contestable views of freedom that get to carry the day.

This next story is one that is so upsetting, I could not write about it yesterday when I read it. Unarmed Black Teen Killed By White Neighborhood Watch Leader

Unarmed Black Teen Killed By White Neighborhood Watch Leader

This is such a sad story: the senseless murder of a high school junior in Florida.

On the evening of February 26, Trayvon Martin, 17, of Miami, FL, was visiting his father in a gated community near Orlando, FL, when he left during halftime of the NBA All-Star Game to get a bag of Skittles for his younger brother.

When Martin returned into the community, with the candy and a soda, Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman, 28, began to trail him.

[…]

When police arrived, they found Martin dead. According to Zimmerman, the shooting was in self-defense, even though the teen was unarmed.

Yet even though it’s clear that he shot the unarmed black boy, Zimmerman, who is white, has not been arrested or charged in the death of Martin.

From Loop21:

The family of the dead teenager is outraged and are demanding that tapes from 911 calls made by neighbors be released to help piece together what happened before, during and after the incident.

“I’m looking for justice for my family,” says Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father. “I want answers but I don’t have any to give, not for his mother, his brothers or sisters. We don’t have nothing, but we want answers.”

Neighbors are just as upset that no arrests have been made. Police are saying they need time to conduct a proper and “fair” investigation.

You can watch interviews with Martin’s family here.

And Zimmerman is still free…no arrest, no charges.
Here is another link, the video is something you need to see. Neighborhood Watch Shooting of Trayvon Martin: Probe Reveals ‘Questionable Police Conduct’ – ABC News

ABC News has uncovered questionable police conduct in the investigation of the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white neighborhood watch captain in Florida, including the alleged “correction” of at least one eyewitness’ account.

Sanford Police Chief Billy Lee said there is no evidence to dispute self-appointed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman’s assertion that he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin out of self-defense.

“Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him,” Lee said.

Martin had been staying at his father’s girlfriend’s house during the night of the NBA All-Star game Feb. 26.

The teenager went out to get some Skittles and a can of ice tea. On his way back into the gated suburban Orlando community, Martin, wearing a hood, was spotted by Zimmerman, 28.

According to law enforcement sources who heard Zimmerman’s call to a non-emergency police number, he told a dispatcher “these a..holes always get away.”

Zimmerman described Martin as suspicious because he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and walking slowly in the rain, police later told residents at a town hall.

A dispatcher told him to wait for a police cruiser, and not leave his vehicle.

So Zimmerman killed an unarmed teen, an unarmed black teen.

Trayvon Martin: Sorry, The First Murder Is Free Of Charge | Addicting Info

As he’s walking home, a car starts following him. The man driving the car is watching him. Trayvon finally turns and says, “What’s your problem?” The problem is he “walks in a suspicious way” – and the guy in the car is a 26 year old neighborhood watch captain who has been stalking him from the convenience store. When Trayvon confronts him, the man gets out of his vehicle and they get into some kind of shoving match. The shoving match ends with the unarmed teenager dead on the ground within sight of his dad’s front yard.

No Charges Against Zimmerman

The details are sketchy as to why, but for some reason Mr. Zimmerman decided earlier that Trayvon was walking suspiciously. I’m not sure what that means but I’m sure it has more to do with the tone of his skin than the movement of his feet. Mr. Zimmerman calls the police to alert them. They tell him to stop pursuing the individual, that they are dispatching a car. Mr. Zimmerman disregards that direction and keeps on tracking Trayvon as he walks “suspiciously” home with his little brother’s candy.

Before the police arrive, they get two more 911 calls about the scuffle. By the time they get there Trayvon is dead and Zimmerman has a bloody nose and a 9mm in his waistband. He claims to have killed the boy in self-defense. On what planet – Bubbaville?

Mr. Zimmerman had absolutely no authority to stalk Trayvon, no authority to confront him on the street and absolutely no authority to shoot him when the kid had the audacity to challenge being followed.

Bill Lee, Chief of Police in Bubbaville

Interestingly enough, the Sanford police saw no reason to arrest Zimmerman, who admitted he just gunned down an unarmed kid on the street walking home from a convenience store. Evidently Mr. Zimmerman is well-respected, has a background in criminal justice. Says Chief  Lee,”It’s not like he went out there looking to shoot somebody.”

HELLOOOOO! He did shoot somebody.

According to the Huffington Post, Trayvon’s dad, Tracey Martin asked the police why Zimmerman hadn’t been arrested. He says the officers told him “they respected [Zimmerman’s] background, that he studied criminal justice for four years and that he was squeaky clean.”

“My question to them was, did they run my child’s background check? They said yes. I asked them what they came up with, and they said nothing. So I asked if Zimmerman having a clean record, did that give him the right to shoot and kill an unarmed kid?”

Evidently so.

The police have questioned Zimmerman twice in the two weeks since Trayvon’s murder, but no charges have been filed. The most recent update from Chief Lee is that there is insufficient evidence to arrest Mr. Zimmerman. After all, he had a bloody nose and grass stains on his shirt.

What Zimmerman must have endured from that young kid he stalked and then murdered? I’m sure Tide will get out the stains out of his shirt, but he sure as hell can’t get the blood off his hands.

If this was episode of Criminal Minds, Mr. Zimmerman would fit the profile of a budding serial killer. You know, the kind that has a hero complex, pretends to be a cop, practices pulling his gun at home in front of the mirror? Who better to take out than a kid Walking While Black.

Trymaine Lee of the Huffington Post has a series of very good articles that you should read. Trayvon Martin

This is a link to Lee’s latest article: Trayvon Martin Case Sent To State Attorney’s Office Amid Growing Tension, Questions About Police Probe

More from a local Orlando news station: Family wants 911 calls released in teen’s fatal shooting

A controversial 911 call is now the focus in the case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain.

Martin’s family attorney says that recording will clear up what she believes really happened.

“I think we’re going to hear that this was not a case of self-defense,” says Natalie Jackson. “This is a case of Geroge Zimmerman stalking Trayvon Martin.”

The shooting happened All-Star Weekend at the Twin Lakes gated community in Sanford. Police say 28-year-old George Zimmerman was patrolling the neighborhood when he spotted Martin. Zimmerman called 911 asking for backup, because he believed Martin appeared suspicious.

So far, the 911 recordings haven’t been publicly released. However, Jackson says she has numerous tips from people claiming to have ties to the Sanford Police Department. Those people say they know what’s on the tapes.

There is speculation and Jackson says she has been told from people who have heard the tapes, there is incriminating evidence regarding racist remarks from Zimmerman.

Sanford Police have not recommended criminal charges against Zimmerman, saying right now there is not enough evidence. News 13 asked a department spokesperson to comment on Jackson’s statement regarding the 911 calls, but he declined.

We also attempted to contact George Zimmerman for a comment but were unable to reach him.

Nevertheless, Jackson believes the evidence is in the 911 calls.

“I think the 911 calls will shed light on the fact that George Zimmerman was asked to stay in his car,” Jackson said. “He disregarded that and in two minutes Trayvon was dead.”

Although Sanford Police are finished with their investigation they still will not release the tapes or say what is on them.

Jackson has filed court documents seeking the 911 tapes and expects the judge to rule later this week.

From the Addicting Info link:

The Sandford Police turn the case over to the Seminole County DA on Tuesday, saying they have no grounds for arrest. The DA’s number is 407-665-6000. But maybe it’s time to bring this back from Planet Bubbaville and into the US Justice System. You can contact the US Attorney’s office for Orlando at 407-648-7500.

This is such a disturbing and sad story. I really can’t say anything about it.

We lived in Orlando for about 6 years, my cousin still lives in Winter Park….We used to talk about Sanford being a hotbed of racism. The killing, claim of self-defense, and lack of charges are unreal, like something out of the civil rights era.

Let’s end the post with some lighter news…okay?

Encyclopaedia Britannica Drops Print Edition

After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica will cease publishing its flagship encyclopedia and concentrate on its digital offerings.

You know, there is something satisfying in doing research with actual books and papers. You don’t get the same “yessss, eureka I found it” feeling when you use Google. It is like taking the easy way out. (If that makes any sense.)

Scenic Greek Island Shows Signs of Volcanic Unrest–  Okay, so this may not be a “good” thing, but it is very interesting to say the least.

The volcanic caldera on the picturesque tourist island of Santorini is showing signs of unrest. But researchers detecting the caldera’s movement say it doesn’t necessarily mean an eruption is imminent.

The Greek island was the site of one of the most massive volcanic eruptions in history 3,600 years ago. That eruption, which created tsunamis 40 feet (12 meters) tall, may have spawned the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. The volcano last erupted in 1950, albeit on a much smaller scale.

[…]

If a Santorini eruption did occur, Newman said, it would be nothing like the Minoan eruption of 1650 B.C. that birthed the myth of Atlantis. That eruption was a once-in-100,000-year event, and the expansion of the magma chamber happening now is only 1 percent of what would have gone on prior to the ancient blast. [The 10 Biggest Eruptions in History]

Geophysicists are keeping an eye on the caldera, however. An eruption could generate local tsunamis within the Santorini archipelago, Newman said, damaging ports and disrupting ship traffic. Even if the volcano doesn’t erupt, the shifting caldera could increase earthquake risk, and the island cliffs are vulnerable.

One more, The Woman Who Skied Antarctica Solo.

The meteorologist-turned-adventurer Felicity Aston has had a soft spot for Antarctica ever since she learned of the ill-fated British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, who loomed as large for her growing up, she says, as characters like King Arthur and Robin Hood. But unlike most of us, Aston never abandoned her dream of emulating her childhood hero. In January the 34-year-old became the first woman to cross Antarctica alone and the first human to traverse the 1,084 mile-long continent without dogs or snowmobiles—although, because she had two food drop-offs, Guinness World Records won’t credit her for a solo crossing.

In any case, the trek took her 59 days of pulling two sledges behind her on skis, securing her tent against ferocious windstorms, navigating glaciers, and rationing a small tub of peanut butter—her only luxury. In the process, she fell even more in love with “that white place at the bottom of the globe.” I spoke with Aston last month, two weeks after her return from the Hercules Inlet, where her journey ended.

Read the interview at the link above.

That is it for me, what do you all think about the killing in Orlando? (Well, Sanford Florida.) And what kind of news stories are you reading about today?

*Correction, Texas Vaginas will get six week reprieve…I had a “slight” miscalculation with the dates. When I wrote this post late last night I transposed the date Texas Planned Parenthood will close, thinking the date was April 3rd and not April 30th. I have changed the title of the post to reflect this correction.


Evening at the Circus: Deep South and Fancy Free!

Evenin’ Y’all!

I got a whopper for you tonight. Well, maybe not a “whopper” but dangit, I’m gonna try…just hope its, “gooder than grits.”

The clowns are in the Deep South tonight, fighting for those:

Fried Chicken Eatin’,

Biscuit Soppin’,

Sheet Wearin’,

Dip Chewin’,

Gun Totin’,

Jesus Freak vote.

Earlier today on CNN the headline read: Will the Deep South Deep Six One of the Candidates…it is no longer there.

Someone must have changed it to: Candidates play expectation game in Deep South primaries – CNN.com

That mysterious disappearing headline gave me an idea though… Now, I’ve got a game for you tonight.

See if you can spot the Onion article or Daily Show and Colbert links from the titles below.

GOP candidates get all Southern with cheesy grits and catfish

Gingrich Takes His Stand In Dixieland

Gingrich Desperately Trying To Court People-Who-Vote Vote

Alabama governor: I voted for Santorum but I don’t endorse him

Is The South Too Republican For Republicans?

Polling in Deep South Has Posed Challenges

Republicans’ Southern Strategy

Santorum, Gingrich vie for Southern supremacy

The South’s turn: Romney, Santorum, Gingrich vie

Romney’s status could be clearer after Deep South primaries

Win Dixie

Mississippi, Alabama votes test candidates’ conservative credentials

Mitt Romney, Jeff Foxworthy Joke About Hunting

Santorum comes from behind in Alabama three-way

Santorum accuses Fox News of ‘shilling’ for Romney

Gingrich Opens Door To Teaming Up With Santorum?

Romney, Gingrich and Santorum Battle in South: Candidates run neck-and-neck in polling in Alabama, Mississippi

Poll: Romney leads three-way race in Texas — but would lose to Santorum one-on-one

The Santorum-Gingrich Stare-Off

You can follow the results of today’s primaries here:

Live blog of Election Day – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs

Heads Up – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast

And if you feel like preparing for any exit poll interviews with Alabama and Mississippi voters tonight, may I suggest these handy dictionaries and phrases sites.

Redneck Dictionary Learn ta speak redneck

BARD – verb. Past tense of the infinitive “to borrow.”
Usage: “My brother bard my pickup truck.”

JAWJUH – noun. A highly flammable state just north of Florida.
Usage: “My brother from Jawjah bard my pickup truck.”

MUNTS – noun. A calendar division.
Usage: “My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck, and I aint herd from him in munts.”

IGNERT – adjective. Not smart. See “Auburn Alumni.”
Usage: “Them N-C-TWO-A boys sure are ignert!”

RANCH – noun. A tool.
Usage: “I think I left my ranch in the back of that pickup truck my brother from Jawjuh
bard a few munts ago.”

ALL – noun. A petroleum-based lubricant.
Usage: “I sure hope my brother from Jawjuh puts all in my pickup truck.”

FAR – noun. A conflagration.
Usage: “If my brother from Jawjuh doesn’t change the all in my pickup truck, that things
gonna catch far.”

BAHS – noun. A supervisor.
Usage: “If you don’t stop reading these Southern words and git back to work, your bahs is
gonna far you!”

TAR – noun. A rubber wheel.
Usage: “Gee, I hope that brother of mine from Jawjuh doesn’t git a flat tar in my pickup
truck.”

TIRE – noun. A tall monument.
Usage: “Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, I sure do hope to see that Eiffel Tire in
Paris sometime.”

Redneck Sayings Where you can catch up on phrases like:

“Well, knock me down and steal muh teeth!”

“This oughta jar your preserves.”

“Don’t you make me open a can o’ whoop-ass on ya.”

“It’s so dry, the trees are bribing the dogs.” 

“It’s been hotter’n a goat’s butt in a pepper patch.”

“Wintery roads are said to be “slicker than otter snot.”
A bothersome person is “like a booger you cain’t thump off.” 
When something doesn’t work, you say, “That ain’t no count.”
If something is hard to do, it’s “like trying to herd cats.” 
“He ran like his feet was on fire and his butt was catchin.”
Any insult is followed by, “Bless her heart.”
“She’s dumber’n a door knob. Bless her heart.”
“She’s uglier than a bucket full of armpits. Bless her heart.”

I can attest to that bless her heart thing…I hear it all the time…

Of course if it is interviews you’ll be watching, I got a good interview for ya rat har:

Even Redneck Women know the importance of dressing up for swanky places:

Let the fun begin…we will post results as they happen…feel free to think of this as an open thread too, post links to stuff you are readin’ t-nite.


Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!!

Let’s get right to the news. I’m going to start with a couple of items that should particularly interest Dakinikat. First, Charlie Pierce wrote a post yesterday about Bobby Jindal’s campaign for VP.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wants to be your vice-president. (He may also want to be your president, too, but being your vice-president first is an easy way to do that.) His first audition for the second slot was to become the prime surrogate for the relentless juggernaut that was the Rick Perry campaign.

(This was a juggernaut only in the sense that people watched Perry speak in the debates and asked each other, “Is he hitting the jug or not?” Thank you. I’ll be back for the late show.)

Once he rode that baby straight into the ground, Jindal decided to campaign for the job on his own, all the while hoping that nobody in the country remembers his memorable “reply” to the president’s State of the Union address back in 2009, during which Jindal looked like a 12-year old wearing his grandfather’s suit, the one in which Jindal scoffed at federal spending on “volcano monitoring” a little more than a year before a big hunk of Iceland blew up and nearly destroyed the airline industry in Europe.

Pierce is reacting to Jindal’s op-ed at the WSJ: Obama’s Politicized Energy Policy

With rising energy costs making it more expensive to drive our cars, heat our homes, and fuel our sputtering economy, many Republicans are criticizing the Obama administration for a failure to adopt a comprehensive energy policy. I believe that critique lets the president off too easily. His administration does have a national energy policy—it’s just a subservient by-product of his radical environmental policy.

This administration willfully ignores rational choices that would lower energy prices and reduce U.S. reliance on foreign energy sources.

Bla, bla, bla…”rational” advice from a guy who believes in exorcism.

We all lost an hour of our lives a couple of days ago when the government made us “spring forward” into daylight savings time (DST). I love it, because it means it stays light a little longer at the end of the day here in New England, but Dak hates what it does to her down in New Orleans. Of course up here in the north, I don’t have the problem of darkness in the early morning.

The Christian Science Monitor had an interesting article on DST yesterday. CSM reports on a psychological study that found that workers are sleepy the next day after the time change (duh!) and are more likely to waste time on the internet at work. “Global productivity losses from a spike in employee cyberloafing are potentially staggering,” the researchers conclude.

CSM says that the origins of DST go way back. It was “originally proposed by a 19th century butterfly collector who wanted more time at the end of the workday to scour fields for insects,” and was first implemented “during World War I (peacetime standardization came in 1966).”

The most recent real adjustment in the US came in 2007, when the change was moved up to the second Sunday in March from the first Sunday in April to lengthen “summertime” and gauge potential energy savings. Polls showed farmers, perennial DST opponents, grumbled, and sports retailers (who benefit from the extra hour of daylight for play time after work) rejoiced.

If you’re worried about lost sleep, you might want to read this article at Alternet: The 8-Hour Sleep Myth: How I Learned That Everything I Knew About Sleep Was Wrong. Apparently it’s not really natural for humans to sleep through the night. The author read about this in a BBC article. Here’s the gist from the Alternet piece:

Turns out that psychiatrist Thomas Wehr ran an experiment back in the ‘90s in which people were thrust into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month. When their sleep regulated, a strange pattern emerged. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before drifting off again into a second four-hour sleep.

Historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech would not have been surprised by this pattern. In 2001, he published a groundbreaking paper based on 16 years of research, which revealed something quite amazing: humans did not evolve to sleep through the night in one solid chunk. Until very recently, they slept in two stages. Shazam.

In his book At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past, Ekrich presents over 500 references to these two distinct sleep periods, known as the “first sleep” and the “second sleep,” culled from diaries, court records, medical manuals, anthropological studies, and literature, including The Odyssey. Like an astrolabe pointing to some forgotten star, these accounts referenced a first sleep that began two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.

This waking period, known in some cultures as the “watch,” was filled with everything from bringing in the animals to prayer. Some folks visited neighbors. Others smoked a pipe or analyzed their dreams. Often they lounged in bed to read, chat with bedfellows, or have much more refreshing sex than we modern humans have at bedtime. A 16th-century doctor’s manual prescribed sex after the first sleep as the most enjoyable variety.

That makes me feel a lot better, since I’ve rarely ever been able to sleep through the night, and in my later years, I have a terrible time falling asleep in the first place.

In political news, President Obama’s approval rating has suddenly tanked, supposedly because of gas prices.

Despite improving job growth and an extended Republican primary fight dividing his would-be opponents, President Obama is heading into the general election season on treacherous political ground, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

At a time of rising gas prices, heightened talk of war with Iran and setbacks in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama’s approval rating dropped substantially in recent weeks, the poll found, with 41 percent of respondents expressing approval of the job he is doing and 47 percent saying they disapprove — a dangerous position for any incumbent seeking re-election.

Which is kind of scary because of the horrifying Republican presidential candidates. It’s still early, so I’m not panicking just yet. Speaking of the clown car crew, there are four primaries today–in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii, and American Samoa. I’m not sure if we’ll have a live blog, because the last one was a bit of dud. If you’d like to have one, please say so in the comments to this post. We’ll definitely post the results tonight though.

As of last night, Romney was in the running in both Alabama and Mississippi, where the polls show Romney Gingrich, and Santorum all running neck and neck. The worst news is that Romney is now leading Obama by 5 points nationally.

The next item drew a {heavy sigh} from me. A new PPP poll found that a whole lot of voters in Alabama and Mississippi think President Obama is a Muslim. {{Heavy sigh….}}

The poll of Mississippi Republicans found that 52% said they believed Obama is a Muslim, 36% weren’t sure and only 12% said they believed he is a Christian. He fared slightly better in Alabama, where 45% said he is a Muslim, 41% weren’t sure, and 14% said he is a Christian.

Some folks in these two deep South state don’t care for interracial marriages like the one that produced Barack Obama.

67% of Alabama Republicans saying they believe interracial marriage should be legal, though 21% said it still should be against the law. In Mississippi, 54% said it should be allowed, while 29% said it should remain illegal.

The preferred Republican candidate of those opposed to interracial marriage? Newt Gingrich. In Mississippi, Gingrich led Romney among that group 40% to 27%, and held a 38%-27% advantage in Alabama.

I am soooooo glad I don’t live in Alabama or Mississippi! Alexandra Petri of the WaPo calls it “the time traveler vote.” She says that voters must have just arrived from the 1920s.

I don’t know why it didn’t strike me sooner. So many of the issues at stake this year are Issues I Thought We Resolved Several Decades Ago. This is 2012, with lots of economic distress and voter unrest to go around. Why are we suddenly prioritizing Taking Back Control Of Women’s Bodies For The State?

But if you consider the Time Traveling Vote, it all makes sense.

I am not sure how big the vote is. But if the recent actions of many state legislatures are to be taken into account, it is surely substantial.

To visitors from the past, these issues are still pressing and vital. They don’t care about jobs! Once the election’s over, they’re headed back to 1926, where the economy is still roaring and everyone is flapping and doing the Charleston.

It certainly makes more sense than the assumption that they’ve simply been ignoring all the headlines, most of the textbooks, the entire women’s rights movement and the scientific consensus for decades.

Some love letters between the young Richard Nixon and his future wife Pat will be displayed at the Nixon Library. They are said to show Nixon’s “sensitive side.” A sample:

“Every day and every night I want to see you and be with you. Yet I have no feeling of selfish ownership or jealousy. In fact I should always want you to live just as you wanted – because if you didn’t then you would change and wouldn’t be you,” Nixon wrote in one of the letters, part of a rotating display at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

“Let’s go for a long ride Sundays; let’s go to the mountains weekends; let’s read books in front of fires; most of all let’s really grow together and find the happiness we know is ours,” he continued.

Whatever happened to that guy?

Finally, have you heard that Arlen Specter has a memoir coming out? Naturally, it’s full of complaints. Harry Reid stabbed him in the back after promising to give Specter seniority as a Democrat if he switched parties. Obama and Biden didn’t help him in his primary campaign against Joe Sestak. The most interesting revelation in the article in The Hill is that Bob Dole told Specter he (Dole) would have switched parties too.

“Dole told me I had done the right thing, that I had done a terrific job as a senator, been involved in a lot of projects, been very active, and hadn’t gotten credit for a lot of the stuff I had done,” he wrote.

“I said, ‘Bob, I think that it’s very meaningful when you say that I did the right thing, in the party change.’

“He said, ‘Well,’ and then paused and thought for a few seconds. Then he said, ‘I probably would have done the same thing.’ ”

Never mind all that. I want to read about Specter’s role in the Warren Commission and how he dreamed up the “single bullet theory.”

That’s all I’ve got for now. What are you reading and blogging about today?


Super Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!!

Today is the day Willard Mitt Romney has been working toward since 1994 when he first ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy. Think of the hundreds of millions of dollars he has poured into his dream of winning the presidency, only to end up on Super Tuesday 2012 with a 28% favorability rating according to the latest NBC-WSJ poll (h/t Dakinikat). Nevertheless, Romney could be the inevitable candidate after tonight–at least the Republican “establishment,” such as it is, hopes he will be.

As you can see in the image above, there are 437 delegates at stake today in the ten Super Tuesday states–that’s more than a third of the total delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.

My home state of Massachusetts holds its primary today, but I’ll be voting on the Democratic side for Elizabeth Warren for Senate. I’m actually getting a little worried about her now that Scott Brown has been leading in the polls for a couple of weeks now.

It looks like Romney will win easily here anyway. In fact, according the Washington Post, “Mass. Republicans hope a big Romney primary win Tuesday could put state into play in November”

Polls show Romney with a commanding lead among GOP primary voters here. His Republican challengers — Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich — have put little money or effort into the state.

But those same polls show Romney trailing President Barack Obama by double digits in a state that has traditionally shunned Republican presidential candidates.

Massachusetts Republicans are hoping that Romney will be able to buck that trend by reeling in voters in the state he governed for four years.

“He’ll put Massachusetts in play,” said state Republican Party Chairman Bob Maginn.

I sure hope not! Romney isn’t popular here, and he wasn’t popular as governor. But if the state ends up being competitive, I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and vote for Obama.

Nate Silver was posting Super Tuesday updates all day yesterday, and his predictions are laid out in a sidebar at his blog. He is forecasting wins for Romney in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Virginia. He expects Santorum to win Wisconsin, Tennesee, Oklahoma, and Gingrich to win his home state of Georgia.

As for the caucus states of North Dakota, Vermont, Idaho, and Alaska, which account for 87 delegates Silver’s colleague Micah Cohen says anything could happen.  Personally, I think Romney should take Vermont, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paul or Santorum take North Dakota.

Over at Real Clear Politics you can see a table showing all of the latest Super Tuesday polls.  Of course we’ll be live blogging the results tonight here at Sky Dancing, so please join us!

Soooo …. Here are a few headlines to get the big day started.

Howard Fineman says the Republican Party has become America’s First Religious Party

Whatever happens on Super Tuesday, the Republican primary season already has made history. The contest has confirmed the establishment of America’s first overtly religious major political party.

The signs are numerous, but it’s still easy to miss the big picture: that the GOP now is best understood as the American Faith Party (AFP) and its members as conservative Judeo-Christian-Mormon Republicans. The basement of St. Peter’s is just one clubhouse.

“There has never been anything like it in our history,” said Princeton historian Sean Wilentz. “‘God’s Own Party’ now really is just that.”

Fineman says most people don’t seem too thrilled by this idea. Duh!

The new GOP does not seem to be sitting well with the American people as a whole, or even with many traditional Republicans. Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine is only the latest non-AFP-type Republican to decide to leave politics and/or the party. In the new ruling class, “revival tent” proponents are driving out the old “big tent” advocates. And a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 40 percent of American adults think less of the party after watching its transformation this electoral season.

Will this spell the end of the GOP?

I happened to watch Hardball last night and to my horror, I saw Willard Mitt Romney in Tennessee reciting the words to an old song I recall from my childhood (but would have preferred to leave there), “Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier.”  It came from a Disney movie of the same name. Charlie Pierce hated it too.

Romney is the personification of the word “dork.”

It turns out Ann Romney may have the same problem as her husband. She can’t help making remarks about being rich. Yesterday she appeared on Fox News and claimed, “I don’t even consider myself wealthy.”

Yeah, that’s “an interesting thing.” I wish she’d send me some of the $21 million the Romneys took in last year. Ann Romney is beginning to remind me of Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom.

Just one more Romney link: Sam Stein found a debate from 2008 in which Romney said he likes health care insurance mandates. Romney’s spokesman said it’s not a flip flop. You be the judge. Frankly, I don’t see how Romney can recall which side of an issue he’s on from one minute to the next.

There’s an embarrassing story from Rick Santorum’s history at Huffpo by Jason Cherkis.

For a brief moment Monday afternoon, GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum jettisoned his conservative, culture-warrior talking points to make a down-to-earth connection with Ohio voters. He confessed that as a teenager, he used to cross the Ohio border to buy beer because the state’s legal drinking age was 18. “I used to enjoy going to Ohio,” he said.

That’s funny. We used to do that in Indiana too. Ohio’s drinking age for 3.2 beer was 16 in those days. It was pretty weak stuff but you could still get a buzz from it if you drank enough.

"Rooster" with his frat brothers

Before he lived in the fraternity house, Santorum lived in a dorm in the center of Penn State’s University Park campus. During his junior year, he roomed with John Koury. “We literally rolled kegs down the dormitory floor,” Koury recalled.

Their room became a party room. “On Fridays, when everyone got back from class, we’d go get a quarter-keg from the distributor,” Koury told HuffPost. “There’d be 20 or 30 of us in the room. We’d drink it and go down to the dining hall.”

Everybody called him “Rooster.” And Rooster liked to chug.

Moving on…. Yesterday must have been the day for wives to defend their husbands. Ann Romney gave an interview to Fox, and Karen Santorum defended her husband’s attitudes toward women for Tuesday’s CBS This Morning.

“They try to corner him and make it look like he doesn’t know anything else” other than conservative social values, Santorum told CBS News political correspondent Jan Crawford in an interview for “CBS This Morning.” “As a wife, mother, an educated woman, it frustrates me that they try to do that.”

She said it’s “unfortunate” that the media tries to “corner” her husband on issues like contraception.

Maybe if he didn’t keep ranting about it all the time, they’d stop asking him about it.

“My husband is brilliant, he knows so much about — you know, like I said — national security, jobs, the economy,” she told Crawford. “You know, every aspect of this race, any issue out there, he’s brilliant.”

Yeah, right. If her husband is “brilliant,” he sure does a good job of hiding it. She also complained about many people’s reaction to the couple’s decision to take their dead 20-month fetus home to show their children.

“We brought Gabriel home from the hospital to have a funeral mass and to bury him. And so they twist it and make it sound like it was some crazy thing,” she said. “We brought him home from the hospital to introduce him to our kids and place him, it was for the funeral mass and the burial. And what is so sad to me Jan is that no one can tell me how to grieve, and I’m not going to tell anyone else how to grieve. It’s not right.”

Well she might not tell anyone how to grieve, but she and her husband seem to wants to tell the rest of us we can’t use birth control or have access to abortion and that women should home school their children instead of working for a living. The Santorums both have martyr complexes. IMO, they should quit whining, live their lives they way they want to, and leave the rest of us alone.

Good old Ron Paul made a bit of news yesterday when he said victims of the recent tornadoes shouldn’t get any federal help.

As Midwestern states face the aftermath of last week’s severe tornado outbreak, Ron Paul said victims of the storms should not look to the federal government for help.

The Texas Republican has often criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency, because, as he says, “they just get in the way.” He made this same argument Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley regarding the recent tornado-spawned devastation in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and several other states.

“To say that any accident that happens in the country, send in FEMA, send in the money, the government has all this money, it’s totally out of control and it’s not efficient,” he said.

Paul argued that the money FEMA spends for disaster relief is stolen from the states and tax payers and is ultimately wasteful.

What a nasty, mean old man! He’s building up some really bad karma.

I know I should have dug up some news about Newt Gingrich too, but I couldn’t find much. He’ll have a nice night in Georgia tonight I guess, and then probably will fade into the sunset.

Other than the primaries, the big story in the news is the conflict between Obama and Netanyahu over attacking Iran, which I find so depressing that I don’t even want to think about it. You can read about it at the link. And here’s a bonus. Mitt Romney has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post called “How I would check Iran’s nuclear ambition.”

So that’s it for me. What are you reading and blogging about today? And don’t forget to join us this evening as we discuss the results of the Super Tuesday contests!